The Daisy Cutter understands there are presently advanced discussions underway concerning a proposed takeover of Everton FC by an Indian company who are reportedly intending not only to obtain a controlling share in the football club but to construct a ‘Football Quarter’ on a huge forty acre plot of land in and around Stanley Park. It is a mammoth undertaking that will bring in tourists, employment in both the public and private sector, and prosperity to an ultimately regenerated area of North Liverpool.

What is the proposed Football Quarter?

The Football Quarter is a proposition put forward by the supporters groups, KEIOC (Keeping Everton In Our City) and SOS (Spirit of Shankly), who put aside their differences with the aim of keeping Goodison Park and Anfield at their spiritual homes either side of Stanley Park.  Realising that expansion and modernisation was required for both stadia the idea of the Football Quarter was born, a designated area in and around Stanley Park which comprises two football stadia and 40 acres of land dedicated to educational, recreational, leisure and community facilities designed not only to promote business and regeneration but also to aid in the transformation of Anfield, Walton, the City and the immediate region.

For further information please see the link provided, which is a report conducted by Dr Alan Southern from the University of Liverpool.

Who are the interested party?

The group are currently proposing an almost identical – but even bigger – concept of a sport complex in Kolkata, India that covers 250 acres. Situated at Rajarhat, the new planned township area will be the first fully integrated sports centre that provides a one-stop sports and recreational experience. It’s wide variety of sporting facilities include a sheltered Olympic size Pool, state-of-the-art Gym, an ultra modern Stadium, Sports Hall, Tennis Courts, etc.

The sports city over there is being promoted by West Bengal State Council of Sports, Govt of West Bengal and has an estimated cost of INR 2.2 Billion.

It is the Cutter’s understanding that such a huge undertaking in Liverpool would similarly receive favourable backing from the local authorities who are perfectly aware of the potentially huge financial and social benefits.

On the football side it is also our understanding – though to a lesser degree – that Everton’s top brass flew out to India last week to continue their discussions about the proposed takeover.

We are certainly aware of high-level meetings taking place in the UK.

Over the past couple of weeks the forums and social network sites have been ablaze with rumour and counter-rumour.

Another area of support for the project comes from a report published this week co-authored by Former Tesco CEO and advisor to Everton, Sir Terry Leahy, and the RT Hon the Lord Heseltine, which considers the opportunities for growth in the Liverpool area over the next two decades. It makes a specific mention of the need to build on the existing strengths of the city whilst highlighting Everton and Liverpool Football Clubs, other sporting events, tourism and the convention & conference market.

Over the past couple of weeks the forums and social network sites have been ablaze with rumour and counter-rumour. Let’s start with those we can – to the best of our knowledge – discount. We are not aware of Anil Ambani or the Tata group being involved in EFC takeover talks at any level.

The latter link arose due to their ownership of the Land Rover plant in Halewood and its close proximity to Finch Farm.

Alas Finch Farm has proven to be something of a blue herring. The Cutter, from the very start, put forward the imminence of a 40 acre land deal. In our exclusive news on October 10th we said an Indian Consortium has flown over to participate in a ‘complicated three-way transaction for a forty-acre land deal in the city’.

When Finch Farm was put up for sale ten days later some of the jigsaw pieces began to fit. Yet it never sat right with us despite our original source specifically mentioning Finch Farm at one stage. We realise now that was merely additional information from a reliable and knowledgeable outlet.

We also realise just how stupid we are because the words ‘football quarter’ came up right from the very start of this. However, due to not knowing the city of Liverpool, or its surrounding areas, very well we assumed – first rule of journalism is never assume! – that the ‘football quarter’ in question was in fact Finch Farm; that it possibly made up a quarter of the overall regeneration plans for the area along with residential, business and retail developments.

Like we say…stupid.

But back to the matter at hand. Let’s concentrate on the aspects that we did get right.

The 40 acre land deal. The Indian Consortium. The fact – a detail that prompted disbelief from some – that the  ‘businessmen had no prior intention of investing in the club and indeed had no previous knowledge even of its existence until they flew over recently to conclude a complicated three-way transaction for a forty-acre land deal in the city’.

It is now our understanding that this was indeed the case. The idea of a British sports city initially brought them to the UK, of a similar model to the proposed one in Kolhata. Once here they learnt about Everton and its financial plight.

We thought we were done with this. Our source went cold and we were content to follow the remainder of the story in the passenger seat, corresponding with some fantastic blues and crossing fingers and toes.

Now it seems – with the information afforded to us – the Cutter has been lured back into the action.

For now though we will end as we’ve done previously; by publicly hoping this happens. Make it so Bill.